By IVES GALARCEP
After seeing a steady exodus of players leave Chivas USA over the past few months, it appears the Goats are finally ready to start adding some major pieces to a squad in dire need of help.
Chivas USA made a blockbuster move on Monday, trading a 2015 1st-round pick and international roster spot through 2014 to Toronto FC for the top spot in the MLS Allocation Order. They then used that spot to select Carlos Bocanegra, who they signed to a new deal on Monday.
The move gives the Goats a veteran leader to anchor the team’s struggling defense, as well as a player with ties to the Southern California area. His arrival suggests the club is serious about bolstering its roster after dumping so many players in pre-season, and even this past weekend.
Sources tell SBI that Bocanegra is the first of at least three major moves the Goats have planned in the coming days. Young Mexican forwards Erick Torres and David Izazola are set to join Chivas USA in the next week, sources confirmed to SBI on Monday. Torres, 20, and Izazola, 21, were teammates on Mexico’s Under-20 World Cup team in 2011.
The trade is a boon for Toronto FC, which receives a first-round pick in 2015 and an international roster spot that will run through 2014. That is a good haul for an allocation slot Toronto FC wasn’t guaranteed to use anyway.
Bocanegra returns to MLS after 10 years in Europe. He spent time with Fulham, Stade Rennes, St. Etienne, Glasgow Rangers and Racing Santander. Drafted in 2000 by the Chicago Fire, Bocanegra established himself as one of the best centerbacks in the history of MLS before leaving for Fulham via free transfer following the 2004 season.
Bocanegra joins Clarence Goodson as U.S. Men’s National Team pool centerbacks to return from Europe in the past week. Bocanegra was left off the Gold Cup roster in order to sort out his club situation, at least that was the explanation given by Jurgen Klinsmann at the time. It will be interesting to see whether Bocanegra’s finalized deal with Chivas USA paves the way for him to join the U.S. Gold Cup squad in case of an injury.
What do you think of Bocanegra moving to Chivas USA? Like the move? Think it’s career suicide? Starting to think the Goats might actually revamp and return being the competitive team they were when the season began?
Share your thoughts below.